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The Stealing of America by the Cops, the Courts, the Corporations and Congress

Homeland Security ICE

Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft.

We’re operating in a topsy-turvy Sherwood Forest where instead of Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves stealing from the rich to feed the poor, you’ve got the government and its merry band of corporate thieves stealing from the poor to fatten the wallets of the rich. In this way, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. All the while, the American Dream of peace, prosperity, and liberty has turned into a nightmare of endless wars, debilitating debt, and outright tyranny.

What Americans don’t seem to comprehend is that if the government can arbitrarily take away your property, without your having much say about it, you have no true rights. You’re nothing more than a serf or a slave.
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What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!
 
While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.
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What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner?

Malaysian

Washington’s propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have.

One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it.

Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.

The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

Just as the separatists and the Russian government have no incentive to shoot down an airliner, neither does the Ukrainian government nor, one would think, even the crazed extreme Ukrainian nationalists who have formed militias to take the fight against the separatists that the Ukrainian army is not keen to undertake–unless there was a plan to frame Russia.
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What Gaza’s Crisis Shows About Israel’s Ambitions and America’s Decline

Israel Gaza 4

As Israel’s military kills and injures hundreds of civilians in Gaza—whose population Israel is legally obligated to protect as an occupying power—people around the world, including in the United States, wonder why official Washington appears so indifferent to even the most graphic instances of “collateral damage.”

The primary reason is that most American policy elites still believe the United States needs to dominate the Middle East, and that Israeli military assertiveness is instrumentally useful to this end—a mindset the Israel lobby artfully reinforces.

Since World War II—and especially since the Cold War’s end—the US political class has seen Middle Eastern hegemony as key to their country’s global primacy. For two decades following Israel’s creation, it contributed little to this; thus, the United States extended it virtually no military or economic assistance, beyond negligible amounts of food aid.

Washington started providing substantial assistance to Israel only after it demonstrated a unilateral capacity, in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, to capture and hold territory from Arab states allied, for the most part, with the Soviet Union. Support for Israel grew through the rest of the Cold War; after the Cold War, US policymakers doubled down on the US-Israeli “special relationship,” calculating that facilitating Israel’s military superiority vis-à-vis its neighbours would help solidify US post-Cold War dominance over the strategically vital Middle East.
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David Versus Goliath in Gaza

Gaza Gas

Israel is clearly winning the David v. Goliath struggle with Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seized on the murder in June of three Jewish teenagers from a West Bank settlement to launch Israel’s third war against Gaza in six years.

So far, some 230 Palestinians have been killed, 70% women and children, and one Israeli has died. Israeli bombing and shelling has made the rubble in Gaza bounce.

As in the two previous Israeli assaults on Gaza, it’s unclear who began the reciprocal rounds of shelling. Palestinians claim Israel broke what had been a successful, 18-month cease-fire; Israel claims Hamas fired first.

In fact, the latest conflict was likely begun by rockets launched against Israel by the militant Islamic Jihad movement to avenge an air attack by Israel on its members. Israel knows just how to provoke the Palestinians to violence.
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Blood, Treasure and Soul: The Exorbitant Price of the American Empire

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but clear evidence can be seen at least in the aftermath of World War II. Some trace the origins back to 1898 and the Spanish-American War, or even earlier to the War of 1812. And still others would say that imperial ambitions were even on the minds of some of the Founding Fathers. Regardless, there can be no doubt that today the United States of America is an empire.

It is probably safe to assume that most Americans do not think of their country as an empire. As a conservative in my younger years, I might have even labeled the suggestion as anti-American, rationalizing to myself: Sure, we may have strategic military bases around the world and we may use force at times, but it is only for benevolent purposes. We get the bad guys, give the country back to the good guys, and we leave. The US does not try to rule the world. I was wrong.
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US Foreign Food Aid Hurts the Poor

USAID Soldiers

The U.S. government loves to preen about its generosity to the world’s downtrodden. However, a long series of presidents and their tools have scorned the evidence that their aid programs perennially clobber recipients. Nowhere is this clearer than in the sordid history of U.S. food aid.

Food for Peace was devised in 1954 to help dump abroad embarrassingly huge crop surpluses fomented by high federal price supports. The primary purpose of Public Law 480 (in which the program is embodied) has been to hide the evidence of the failure of other farm programs. Although PL-480 sometimes alleviates hunger in the short run, the program disrupts local agricultural markets and makes it harder for poor countries to feed themselves in the long run.

The Agriculture Department (USDA) buys crops grown by American farmers, has them processed or bagged by U.S. companies, and pays lavishly to send them overseas in U.S.-flagged ships. At least 25 percent of food aid must be shipped from Great Lakes ports, per congressional mandate. Once the goods arrive at their destination, the Agency for International Development (USAID) often takes charge or bestows the food on private relief organizations.
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Neocons Go Undercover

Ben Smith

Fox News reports it’s entirely legal in many jurisdictions for criminals to change their names, citing the case of an Oklahoma man convicted of impersonating a police officer – as well as a would-be school bus driver who is a convicted sex offender. It’s a problem in Australia, too, where rapists, murderers, and "fraudsters" simply reinvent themselves in order to escape scrutiny once out of prison. This practice is now spreading to the political sphere, where the ideological fraudsters formerly known as neoconservatives are trying to transform themselves into "Freedom Conservatives."

Ben Smith, writing in Buzzfeed – the neocons’ latest journalistic front – makes the case for the name-change in a piece claiming that the old categories – neocon, libertarian, tea party, hawks, etc. – are "outdated," representing "overlapping categories drawn from different eras." "Buzzfeed Ben," always in the vanguard of the New & Shiny, says "these terms don’t really fit." Why not? Well, because "there are multiple strands of antigovernment conservatism that predate the tea party movement," as well as ‘kinds of hawkishness that have little to do with the neoconservative movement."
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